Wins not victories

October 3, 2015

The All Blacks have beaten Georgia 43 – 10.

Like its other pool games, it was a win but not a victory.

The All Blacks have been expected not only to win but to win well and they haven’t yet.

This means either:

a) The gap between the top tier, the up and comers and the minnows is narrowing.

b) It’s a cunning plot by the All Blacks to appear weaker than they are by not playing their best in pool games.

c) The chances of the All Blacks making the final, let alone winning it aren’t nearly as high as many of us hoped.


Game by game

September 20, 2015

The All Blacks’ World Cup campaign begins tomorrow morning (NZ time) with a match against the Pumas.

Our team is number one in the world and among the favourites to win the Cup but championships have to be taken game by game.

The Highlanders’ win over the Hurricanes in this year’s Super Rugby final is a recent reminder that an underdog can beat a favourite and this mornings Pool B match reinforced that.

Who would have thought that Japan’s Cherry Blossoms would beat South Africa’s Springboks  at all, let alone 34 – 32? Georgia’s 17 – 10 win against Tonga was also a surprise.

And wasn’t it an unexpected win by Argentina against the French hosts in a previous Cup opener which led to the French meeting, and beating, the All Blacks in the quarter-final?

All my fingers and toes are crossed for the All Blacks because in spite of all they’ve done to prepare, their fitness, tactics and skill, luck will play a part in which team makes it to the final and which wins the Cup.


Upsets good and bad

October 2, 2011

Last night’s upset win by Tonga against the French was a good upset.

Unless you happen to be French or a Francophile.

Scotland’s loss to England after a good start will have upset some.

Unless you’re one of those who weren’t hoping that Sctoland would go against the odds, win with a bonus point and so progress ot the quarter finals.

The Wallabies 68 -22 win over Russia wasn’t an upset but what’s described as a tournament-threatening injury to wing Drew Mitchell, on top of serious injuries to other players could be upsetting.

Unless you’re one of those who’s not wanting Australia to do very well.

This afternoon it looked like Georgia might upset Argentina until  Los Pumas took charge of the game which ensures them a spot in the quarter finals.

That would have upset Argentina’s supporters but pelased the Scots who would then have secured a place in the next round.

Like Adam Smith I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s heartbreaking that Dan Carter is out of the Rugby World Cup altogether though I acknowledge that will be upsetting to many.

Although not those in or supporting one of the teams hoping to beat the All Blacks.

But let’s keep it in perspective, a team is made up of 15 players plus reserves. They will all be doing their best to ensure there’s no upsets for them and their supporters, especially in today’s match against Canada.

This afternoon I’m backing Fiji against Wales and will take the underdog in the match between Ireland and Italy.


Georgia in my heart

September 19, 2011

When I wrote yesterday’s post on the Rugby World Cup I said I was going to back England.

But when I got to Otago Stadium last evening I had a change of heart and swapped my allegiance to Georgia.

The team played really well and I think the 41-10 score flattered the English. They deserved to win but not by that margin.

Georgia spent a lot of time in England’s half and though they weren’t able to turn territory into points they kept up the pressure until the final whistle.

They didn’t win the game but they did win hearts, including mine.

It’s good for the tournament and for rugby that the minnows are giving the bigger fish more than a run for their money.

Canada started well and scoring 19 points to France’s 46 would have given Les Bleus cause for concern.

 I didn’t see or hear the game between Wales and Samoa but reports suggest the 17-10 victory to the Welsh didn’t come easily.

Our decision to go to the game in Dunedin last evening was a last minute won but booking online secured us seats in the front row at half way which gave us a very good view.

Among the people sitting near us were several Argentineans. They are following the Pumas all around New Zealand and attending other random games which fit their travels.

My Spanish is a bit rusty but the gist of what one of them told me was that he had travelled all over the world but never thought of coming to New Zealand before. However, he and his travelling companions were having a wonderful time, the country is beautiful, the people friendly and they’re enjoying the food and wine.

That is exactly the sort of off-field benefits to New Zealand the organisers are hoping for.


February 21 in history

February 21, 2010

On February 21:

  1245 Thomas, the first known Bishop of Finland, resigned after confessing to torture and forgery.

Bishop thomas.jpg

1440 The Prussian Confederation was formed.

1543 Battle of Wayna Daga – A combined army of Ethiopian and Portuguese troops defeats a Muslim army led by Ahmed Gragn.

King Ahmed Gurey Mog.jpg

1613 Mikhail I was elected unanimously as Tsar, beginning the Romanov dynasty of Imperial Russia.

1743 The premiere of George Frideric Handel‘s oratorio “Samson” took place in London.

1804  The first self-propelling steam locomotive made its outing at the Pen-y-Darren Ironworks in Wales.

 

1842 John Greenough was granted the first U.S.A. patent for the sewing machine.

1848 Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels published the Communist Manifesto.

1875 Jeanne Calment, French supercentenarian and longest-lived human on record (, was born.

 

1879 An explosion in a Kaitangata coal mine killed 34 men.

Kaitangata mining disaster

1885 The newly completed Washington Monument was dedicated.

1903 Anaïs Nin, French writer, was born.

 

1907  W. H. Auden, English poet, was born.

1910 Douglas Bader, British pilot (, was born.

Douglas Bader.jpg

1913  Ioannina was incorporated into the Greek state after the Balkan Wars.

Ioannina and Lake Pamvotida seen from Mitsikeli mountain

1916 Battle of Verdun started.

Verdun and Vincinity - Map.jpg

1918 The last Carolina parakeet died in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo.

1919 Kurt Eisner, German socialist, was assassinated.

1921 Constituent Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Georgia adopts the country’s first constitution.

1924 Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbambwe, was born.

1925 The New Yorker published its first issue.

1927 Erma Bombeck, American humorist, was born.

1927 Hubert de Givenchy, French fashion designer, was born.

1933  – Nina Simone, American singer, was born.

1935  Mark McManus, Scottish actor, was born.

Taggart title.jpg

1937  Initial flight of the first successful flying car, Waldo Waterman’s Arrowbile.

 

1937 – The League of Nations banned foreign national “volunteers” in the Spanish Civil War.

1945 Kamikaze planes sank the escort carrier Bismarck Sea and damaged the Saratoga.

USS Bismarck Sea (CVE-95)

1947 Edwin Land demonstrated the first “instant camera,” the Polaroid Land Camera, to a meeting of the Optical Society of America.

1952 The British government, under Winston Churchill, abolished identity cards in the UK to “set the people free”.

1952 In Dhaka, East Pakistan (present Bangladesh) police opened fire on a procession of students that was demanding the establishment of Bengali as the official language, killing four people and starting a country-wide protest which led to the recognition of Bengali as one of the national languages of Pakistan. The day was later declared as “International Mother Language Day” by UNESCO.

1953  Francis Crick and James D. Watson discover the structure of the DNA molecule.

 

1958 The Peace symbol was designed and completed by Gerald Holtom, commissioned by Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, in protest against the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment.

 

1960 Cuban leader Fidel Castro nationalised all businesses in Cuba.

1965 Malcolm X was assassinated at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City by members of the Nation of Islam.

Malcolm X NYWTS 2a.jpg

1970 A mid-air bomb explosion in  Swissair Flight 330 and subsequent crash killed 38 passengers and nine crew members near Zürich.

1971 The Convention on Psychotropic Substances was signed at Vienna.

Ecstacy monogram.jpg

1972 President Richard Nixon visited the People’s Republic of China to normalise Sino-American relations.

People's Republic of China   United States

1972 The Soviet unmanned spaceship Luna 20 landed on the Moon.

Luna 20

1973  Israeli fighter aircraft shot down Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114 jet killing 108.

1974 The last Israeli soldiers left the west bank of the Suez Canal pursuant to a truce with Egypt.

1975 Watergate scandal: Former United States Attorney General John N. Mitchell and former White House aides H. R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman were sentenced to prison.

1986 Charlotte Church, Welsh singer, was born.

1995 Steve Fossett landed in Leader, Saskatchewan, Canada becoming the first person to make a solo flight across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon.

2004 – The first European political party organization, the European Greens, was established in Rome.

European Greens logo.svg

2007 Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi resigned from office. His resignation bus rejected by the President Giorgio Napolitano.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


January 14 in history

January 14, 2010

On January 14:

83 BC Marcus Antonius, Roman politician, was born.

M Antonius.jpg

1129 Formal approval of the Order of the Templar at the Council of Troyes.

Templarsign.jpg

1301 Andrew III of Hungary died, ending the Arpad dynasty.

1514  Pope Leo X issued a papal bull against slavery.

Cardinal Giovanni de' Medici.jpg

1539 Spain annexes Cuba.

1639 The “Fundamental Orders“, the first written constitution that created a government, was adopted in Connecticut.

1724 – King Philip V of Spain abdicated the throne.

1761  The Third Battle of Panipat was fought in India between the Afghans under Ahmad Shah Durrani and the Marhatas. The Afghan victory changes the course of Indian History.

1784  United States Congress ratified the  Treaty of Paris with Great Britain.

 Benjamin West‘s painting of the delegations at the Treaty of Paris: John Jay, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Henry Laurens, and William Temple Franklin. The British delegation refused to pose, and the painting was never completed.

1814  Treaty of Kiel: Frederick VI of Denmark ceded Norway to Sweden in return for Pomerania.

1875 Albert Schweitzer, Alsatian physician, Nobel laureate, was born.

1886  Hugh Lofting, English author, was born.

1891 Bob  Fitzsimmons won the world middleweight boxing title.

Bob Fitzsimmons wins world middleweight boxing title
 
1904  Sir Cecil Beaton, English photographer, was born.
1907 An earthquake in Kingston, Jamaica killed more than 1,000.
1934  Richard Briers, English actor, was born.

1938Norway claimed Queen Maud Land in Antarctica.

Territorial extent of Queen Maud Land

1940  Sir Trevor Nunn, English theatre director and film director, was born.

1941  Faye Dunaway, American actress, was born

1943  Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill began the Casablanca Conference to discuss strategy and study the next phase of the war.

 Free French leaders Henri Giraud and Charles de Gaulle in front of Roosevelt and Churchill at the Casablanca Conference, January 14, 1943

1943 – World War II: Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first President of the United States to travel via aeroplane while in office when he travelled from Miami, Florida to Morocco to meet with Winston Churchill.

1950The first prototype of the MiG-17  made its maiden flight.

1952 NBC’s long-running morning news program Today debuted, with host Dave Garroway.

1967  The Human Be-In, takes place in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, launching the Summer of Love. Between 20,000 to 30,000 people attended.

 Poster advertising the ‘Human Be-In’ designed by Michael Bowen.

1970 Diana Ross & The Supremes final concert appearance at The Frontier Hotel- Las Vegas

1972 Queen Margrethe II of Denmark ascended the throne, the first Queen of Denmark since 1412 and the first Danish monarch not named Frederick or Christian since 1513.

 

1994  Samir Patel, American spelling bee winner, was born.

1998  Researchers in Dallas, Texas presened findings about an enzye that slows aging and cell death (apoptosis).

1999 Toronto, Mayor Mel Lastman was the first mayor in Canada to call in the Army to help with emergency medical evacuations and snow removal after more than one meter of snow paralysed the city.

2004 – The national flag of Georgia, the so-called “five cross flag“, was restored to official use after a hiatus of some 500 years.

See adjacent text.
2005  Landing of the Huygens probe on Saturn’s moon Titan.
Huygens probe dsc03686.jpg
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.

NZ tops Global Peace Index

June 3, 2009

 New Zealand has topped the  Institute for Economics and Peace’s Global Peace Index .

dairy 1

The Institute is an Australian think tank dedicated to developing the inter-relationships between business, peace and economic development.
The results of the 2009 survey  suggest:
that the world has become slightly less peaceful in the past year, which appears to reflect the intensification of violent conflict in some countries and the effects of both the rapidly rising food and fuel prices early in 2008 and the dramatic global economic downturn in the final quarter of the year. Rapidly rising unemployment, pay freezes and falls in the value of house prices, savings and pensions is causing popular resentment in many countries, with political repercussions that have been registered by the GPI through various indicators measuring safety and security in society.
 
The GPI uses 23 indicators  of the existence or absence of peace, divided into three broad categories:  measures of ongoing domestic and international conflict, measures of safety and security in society and measures of militarization.
The Top 10 countries were: New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Austria, Sweden, Japan, Canada, Finland and Slovenia.
At the bottom were: Georgia, Zimbabwe, Russia, Pakistan, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Israel, Somalia, Afghaanistan and Iraq.
The full list is here.

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